No limits as Colin looks for new love

Rosemary Sorensen | Bendigo Weekly | 19-Jan-2012

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ON THE LOOKOUT: Colin James has written an autobiography. Photo: Andrew Perryman
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Colin James has never been a loner.
After three marriages, and even though his health problems put an end to many of his former activities, he is actively looking for wife number four, and optimistic about finding her.
Mr James tells the story of each marriage, and the way he tackled the Stills disease that reduced his mobility from the age of three, in his memoir, If I Can Do It…
With the help of his brother, a former school principal, he has detailed his 40 years as a singer and songwriter, as well as promoter and public speaker, campaigning for the rights of disabled people.
“If I Can Do It…” was also the title of a poem he turned into one of the songs he used to perform.
“I’m probably lucky that I got rheumatic fever when I was a child, because it made me the person I am,” he said.
“I have my ups and downs like everyone, but I’m optimistic, it’s the way I’m made.
“I meet people who think ‘disabled’ and have a grudge against the world.
“I think ‘limitation’, and get on with it.”
Mr James lists among his achievements an Order of Australia, and the honour of being among the torch bearers for the 2000 Olympic Games.
He said writing the book was just like songwriting, “easy in parts and not so easy in others”.
The idea to write a memoir
first came to him when, a few years ago, a journalist interviewing him asked him some personal questions.
“I thought, this is hurting, why is it hurting?”, he said.
“I’m not a deep thinker, I’m a surface person, the kind who knows a little bit about everything.
“But I began to piece it all together, and now it’s out there, for the world to see.”
Mr James said he asked all three wives to check over the sections about them.
“I believe in speaking my mind, although I stayed clear of topics like sexuality, as that is too sensitive,” he said.
“I’ve had my own little depressions in the past, but I think I’ve learned things along the way.
“As for marriage, I think I’d be better next time – needless to say, I’m spending a lot of time on dating sites.”
Colin James’s memoir If I Can Do It... will be launched tomorrow, January 21, at 11am at Dymocks in Mitchell Street, Bendigo.

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